A young musician from the University of Huddersfield has been invited to join one of the world’s top brass bands.
Tommy Tynan, 24, will take up the prestigious position of principal tuba player with the Cory Band, the Welsh brass band widely acclaimed as the best in the world.
Tommy is currently in the final year of his Bachelor of Music degree and will move to South Wales after completing his studies next summer.
He has been a mainstay of the university’s own brass band, both playing and mentoring other students, as well as playing with and conducting the Marsden village brass band.
Tommy said: “To be invited to be the principal tuba of that band is just incredible. It is probably the hottest tuba seat in brass banding.
“The magnitude of this has not quite sunk in but I am sure it will when I go down there and take part in my first competitions with them.”
The Cory was founded in the late 19th century and is based in Ton Pentre near Treorchy. In 2016 it became the first band to win the ‘Grand Slam’, claiming all three major British titles plus the European Championship, and repeated the feat three years later.
Tommy has worked closely with many staff from the university, including head of brass Richard Ward, who underlined the scale of Tommy’s achievement in winning a place with the Cory Band.
“You really have to be a world class player to be a principal player in that band,” said Richard. “You have to be one of the best E flat tuba players in the world to be able to get that role, so it really is a fantastic achievement.
“The Cory Band are the best brass band in the world. They are ground-breaking and have moved brass bands on from something quite old-fashioned to something more modern.
“Tommy is such a nice lad, a great player, so driven and really focused. He has also seen studying as really important, he wanted to get his degree and he wanted to get it from Huddersfield. It has really paid off, and now he is the principal tuba with the best brass band in the world.
“He will be really looked up to as principal tuba with the world’s best brass band, he will get solo work from this as well and will be a real ambassador for brass playing because the Cory are seen as trailblazers.”
Tommy will juggle the demands of his course and a transition process into the band in the coming months, following a demanding interview process that involved Simon Howell, the Cory’s principal tuba who is stepping away after 14 years with the band.
“It was quite a rigorous audition, something I was not too familiar with,” said Tommy. “There were a couple of rehearsals and concerts in Cardiff, then I had to pick a couple of pieces for Philip Harper the conductor, and Simon, the old principal tuba player. After a few weeks I got the call to say I had got the job.
“The next few months will be very, very busy. There is a competition in March and a few other weekends, and then the European Championships in April during my Easter break.
“As soon as my exams are over, I will make the move but Philip has made sure I can balance the band with the rest of my university life. He has been great.”
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His time at Huddersfield has seen Tommy, who has also worked as a chef, perform with the university’s brass band at numerous events on campus and nearby.
During the pandemic he has also indulged his love of cooking by making artisan pies for family and friends.
Stewart Worthy, the university’s subject leader for Music and Music Technology, said: “We are extremely proud of Tommy.
“He is the second student in recent years to join Cory and we hope to continue producing more outstanding players in the future.”